Friday, 27 April 2018

The Seriousness of Being Self-Published (Summary Ep. 1-4)

The Seriousness of Being Self-Published


When I started this blog series, it was a kind of tongue-in-cheek post about all the different kinds of jobs I could add to my CV as a self-published author.

I do realise, this blog should be all about me and my books, and, in effect, me posting The Seriousness of Being Self-Published, is not reader focussed but author focussed.

However, there are so many young (and older) people out there with so much talent, I hope they find this blog and maybe I am being helpful. 

This will help them NOT to make the same mistakes I have been making for the last 10 years. Do as I say, not as I do 😀

Also, during the last 4 posts in this series, I have actually discovered the answer to save myself hours of time. To start planning. To set a day aside to implement the plan. To stop flying by my pants. To be logical and methodical. To stop advertising randomly and throwing money into a bottomless pit of failure. To give me more time to write.

Let me tell you what I started doing:

Analyse last months posts

If you have a Facebook Business Page it is easy to see which posts had the most likes/shares/interactions. Also, it is easy to determine the times most of your Page Likers are online. You don't want to schedule your post for 10:00 when most of the people who like your page only go online at 18:00

On Twitter, on the right-hand side (once you're signed in), there is a link you can click to see which of your posts had the most interactions. Unfortunately, unless you religiously write down the times you post, you cannot tell what time would be most effective. However, you can get a once-off free analysis to see when your Twiter Followers are online at Tweriod

You have to have a Google+ Business Page to see analytics - This is on my to-do-list - I used to have one back in 2012, but we all know how I like to create work for myself 😫

Create a content plan for this month

In my first post in this series, I suggested to schedule your posts according to your content plan weekly, but in my personal experience, I find it less time-consuming to do this once a month - the last two days of the month.

Decide the objective.

Increase brand awareness? 

Drive traffic to your website?

Increase Newsletter Subscribers?

Boost brand engagement?

HINT: I recently read a Facebook post where it was said that you should not send traffic directly to your book page on Amazon. The reason being that someone might click on it, not like your book and then leave, which increases your bounce rate, and 'tells' Amazon your book is a loser. I don't know if this is true, but maybe it is. So, it might be a good idea to first send traffic to a landing page or your own website/blog. 

Have you tried Booklaunch for awesome book landing pages? It is really easy to set up. Here is a link to mine, as an example.

Now you know your objective, create your content plan.

In my first post in this series, I mentioned that it is suggested 5 posts a day on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ & Instagram. On LinkedIn a professional blog post a week. Try to vary your posts on the different channels.

Personally, I think 5 posts a day is way too much, not just in the creating/doing it part, but also in your reader's newsfeed. Remember, some of your followers or page likers only have a handful of people they follow or like, and sometimes they only sign in once a week - you don't want to overwhelm their newsfeed.

I schedule one post a day, at the optimum time, on each platform (excluding Instagram - for now). It is also the same post to continue my story across platforms (for now). At a random time, I'll post something personal - depending on how I feel.

Create visual elements

I change my template every month, to keep them from getting boring but I do implement the basic good practices by keeping them the same size, the same filter, including my logo and using the same font.

This month, my template looked like this:

And, this month my focus was on sending traffic to my Google Landing Pages for each book.

Last month, my goal was sending traffic to this blog, and my template looked like this:

You will notice, last month I made the mistake of not including my logo... An error I try not to make any more.

I usually make my images 500px x 500px, but I have noticed now that I am using my device more for going onto my social platforms, this is a size too big, and the post has to be tapped to see the full image (especially on Twitter).

You will notice I don't always post my book covers, but I create new images, or share my covers in a new way.

I use pixlr to create my images.

Schedule posts

If you have a Facebook Business Page you can schedule your post for free.

To schedule your posts on Twitter, you can use Tweetdeck for free.

I use Hootsuite to schedule my Google+ posts.

I use my PC to schedule posts, and only login once a month. During the month, I access my social platforms daily (morning, lunchtime and before I go to bed) with my device to like and comment.

As I've said before, social media is a thief of time and makes me get tunnel vision. I'll go on and 4 hours later, I'll see the time and then kick-my-own-behind because ALL the things that needed doing never got done.

Since I've started following this plan, I've had more time for writing.

Discipline is the bridge between goals 
and accomplishment. - Jim Rohn